No Bake Crispy Pretzel Bars

Crispy Pretzel Bars

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I wasn’t sure I would like this since I’m not a big fan of pretzels but I was pretty sure my family would.  And they did.  But I liked it, too.  I didn’t really taste the pretzels especially with all the other goodies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 5 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup plain M&M’s

Directions:

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in peanut butter until blended.  Add the cereal, pretzels and M&M’s; stir until coated.  Press into a greased 15x10x1 pan.  Cut into bars.  Yield about 5 dozen.

Notes:

  • I broke the pretzel sticks into smaller pieces.
  • You’ll get 5 dozen if you cut them really tiny which I didn’t.  I cut half of the pan into smaller pieces and the other half into bigger pieces so I ended up with 12 big pieces and 24 smaller pieces.

from Quick Cooking Magazine

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

This is a great recipe that will please just about everyone.  And it’s not hard to make.

Ingredients for Base:

  • ¾ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons bakig cocoa
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, optional (I omitted)
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1-1/3 cups (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter (no substitutes) *
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa; add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts, if desired.  Spread in a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 – 18 minutes.

Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake; return to oven for 2-3 minutes.  Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over cake.  Cool. **

For topping, combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended.  Remove from heat; stir in cereal.  Spread over bars immediately.  Chill.  Yield:  about 3 dozen

NOTES:

*I’ve made it with margarine in the past and it’s just fine.  So if you don’t have butter, you can still make this.

**I took the marshmallows out after 2 minutes and found them a little bit hard to spread.  Two-and-a-half or three minutes would probably have been better.  My marshmallow topping wasn’t “smooth” but it still worked fine.

from Taste of Home’s Cookies & Bars 2003

No-Bake Cereal Bars

If you need a last-minute dessert to take to your Memorial Day get together but don’t have much time, here’s the recipe you need!  These bars use cereal, peanuts, peanut butter and M&M’s.  When I made them I didn’t have enough M&M’s, so I just used an assortment of chocolate from my baking drawer.  You could probably do some substitutions with the cereal, too – if you needed to.  This is one of those recipes that lends itself well to mixing and matching.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cheerios
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups M&M’s (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

In a large bowl (you really do need a large bowl), combine the first four ingredients; set aside.  In a large saucepan, bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil.  Cook and stir just until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla.  Pour over cereal mixture and toss to coat evenly.  Spread into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.  Cool.  Cut into square bars.  YIELD:  15 bars.

from Taste of Home Tailgate Cookbook, Fall 2006

Countdown to Christmas – Fabulous Peanut Butter Balls

This recipe is an absolute family favorite!  I’ll confess I don’t make these as often as my family would like because they’re a little bit of work, but my family says they are SO worth it!  (You’ll notice my peanut butter balls don’t look as awesome as some people’s but it’s because I don’t care.  They’re good enough for us.)

I made these yesterday for our family Christmas and I tried something new this time.  Instead of melting the almond bark a little at a time in the microwave, I heated the whole package in my 1.5 quart crock pot.  I broke the almond bark into sections of two, put them in the greased crockpot, and cooked them on high for about 30 to 45 minutes.  I switched the temperature to low while I dipped the peanut butter balls.  And the nice thing is, after you shape the peanut butter balls, they have to sit for an hour which is just enough time to melt the chocolate in the crock pot.   When the peanut butter balls are ready, so is the chocolate.  .  I’ll be doing it this way from now on.  It was a lot easier.

  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 cups rice crispies
  • package of chocolate almond bark

Melt margarine and peanut butter until easy to blend.  Add powdered sugar.  Stir in rice crispies.  Shape into walnut-size balls.  Dry at warm temperature for one hour.  Dip in melted chocolate and cool.  Use fork or slotted spoon to dip.  Harden on wax paper.

Chocolate Ribbon Bars

I just made these bars last week.  I’ve had the recipe for a long time but hadn’t made them for a while.  I forgot how good they were!

  • 1 package (10 to 11 ounces) butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter; stir until smooth.  Gradually stir in cereal until well coated.  Press half the mixture into a
greased 13x9x2 pan; set remaining mixture aside (it doesn’t get stiff like rice crispy treats – I was concerned about that).

In another large microwave-safe bowl, melt semisweet chips and butter.  Stir in water until blended (it takes a minute).  Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, stirring until smooth.

Spread over cereal layer (don’t worry if it’s not perfect – you don’t see it once you put the other layer of cereal mixture on).  Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes or until chocolate layer is set.  Spread remaining cereal mixture over the top.  Chill before cutting.  2 dozen.